Saturday January 19, 2013
Success of pioneer project to inject new vigour into PE
By PAUL GABRIEL
DAPHNE (Alabama): Physical education in Malaysia is set for a revamp following the success of a pioneer project involving the United States Sports Academy, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
He said 1,018 teachers had completed the reputed academy’s International Diploma in Physical Education and Scholastic Sports (IDPESS) from June to December last year, with more than 30 of the American sports university’s professors conducting theory and practical lessons in the schools involved.
He said the 10-course diploma programme, approved by the Malaysian Qualifications Authority and run in co-operation with the National Sports Institute, involved PE teachers in six zones covering Kedah, Pahang, Perak, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.
Muhyiddin, who is the Education Minister, said the RM22mil effort had received overwhelming res-ponse from teachers who wanted to equip themselves with practical skills and theoretical knowledge.
“We are thinking of expanding the programme to cover disciplines such as sport sciences as well.
“We need to train the trainers if sports development is going to succeed at the grassroots level. The academy has a proven track record. We want to tap into its expertise,” he told reporters before being conferred an honorary doctorate by the academy’s president/CEO Dr Thomas P. Rosandich during a ceremony at its campus in Daphne yesterday.
Dr Rosandich, who had served as a national track and field coach in Malaysia in the 1950s, said the academy decided to honour Muhyiddin for his contributions to sports development during his stint as Youth and Sports Minister and for his leadership as Education Minister.
“His ‘One Student, One Sport’ initiative has caught the eye. He was also outstanding in chairing the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games executive committee which was one of the best games ever organised,” he added.
Earlier, Muhyiddin said the search for excellence in education and a holistic approach to moulding the minds of the young was gaining ground, with the Government continuing to assess various models.
He emphasised that the target was no longer mere academic ability but producing students who were able to respond to various needs.
“We are continuing to look at various systems and models being used to mould the young in advanced countries, how co-curricular activities and use of computer technology can be enhanced in our schools.
“The learning process is moving forward for us and it cannot be stopped,” he said after a visit to the Daphne High School.
The school, which serves grades nine to 12, offers the International Baccalaureate programme and has a successful athletics programme.
It has been named by the US Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon school which honours students performing at very high levels.
Muhyiddin, who spent time interacting with the students, said he was impressed with its facilities and the ability of its teachers to mentor their charges.